Can Giants thank steroids for Cody Ross?

In retrospect, maybe we should have seen this one coming ...

    San Francisco Giants outfielder Jose Guillen, left off the team's postseason roster, is linked to a federal investigation into shipments of performance-enhancing drugs, The New York Times reported on its website Thursday night.

    The story, citing several unidentified lawyers, said federal authorities told Major League Baseball they were looking into shipments of human growth hormone, allegedly sent to Guillen's wife in the Bay Area.

    That was just before the postseason began, The Times said. Guillen was left off the Giants' roster for all three rounds because of a nagging neck injury, according to manager Bruce Bochy. According to The Times, the Giants were told to leave Guillen off the roster by Major League Baseball.


    Looking for more offense, the Giants acquired Guillen from the Kansas City Royals in a trade on Aug. 13. He batted .266 with three homers and 15 RBIs in 42 games for the NL West champions.

Cody Ross joined the Giants on August 22. He batted .288 with three homers and seven RBIs in 33 games for the NL West champions.

In the last week of the season, with the Giants still fighting for their lives, Guillen started five games and Ross started once.

I don't know if we'll ever know exactly why Cody Ross made the postseason roster and Jose Guillen didn't. They say it's because Guillen's neck was sore. But somehow it wasn't too sore for Guillen to start 15 of the Giants' 16 games.

Maybe the decision was based purely on Guillen's performance, and his injury. But the Giants would not be where they are right now if Cody Ross hadn't been handed the job in right field in the Giants' Division Series. And it now seems at least plausible that Ross wouldn't have been handed the job if Guillen hadn't gotten busted for drugs.

Among the bizarre incidents marking what might be the San Francisco Giants' first world championship, beating the stuffing out of Cliff Lee in Game 1 might have just been bumped to No. 2 on the list.